Many people are plagued by fatigue, especially on long car journeys or late-night drives. So-called microsleep can be dangerous at the wheel. If you do not look at the road at the crucial moment, it can end in an accident. According to studies, almost 50 percent of all accidents during the night can be attributed to fatigue at the wheel. A so-called drowsiness detection, also known as a drowsiness warning, gives a signal when the driver is getting tired. This can prevent microsleep.
New car with anti-sleep system
New cars in particular are often already equipped with a drowsiness detection system or can be provided with this via the surcharge list. This means that a microsleep alarm can be installed regardless of the vehicle class: Whether it is a small car or a luxury limousine - security can be ordered for every mobile.
The situation is different for older cars or small vehicles from the lower price segment. Drivers of these vehicles can think about a technical retrofit. In general, retrofitting of assistance devices is possible. In addition to parking sensors or reversing cameras, this also includes sensors for drowsiness detection.
Retrofit the fatigue warning yourself?
If the systems are permanently installed or the vehicle has complex electronics, installation by a specialist is preferable to installation yourself. It is also advisable to purchase the factory system, if it is available, and not to contact a third party.
Which systems are there for retrofitting?
There are four different systems for drowsiness detection:
- built-in drowsiness detection
- a retrofit kit for drowsiness alarms
- Drowsiness detection for the glasses
- Finger fatigue detection
A distinction can be made between internal and external systems. Internal drowsiness detection are connected to the vehicle's power supply. External systems are supplied with energy independently. For example, one of the internal early warning systems for microsleep is a camera in the interior. This recognizes severe fatigue in the driver. As soon as a microsleep begins, the alarm system emits a signal tone. Combined alternatives are navigation systems that are integrated in the rearview mirror. Some of them have an anti-sleep system included. Crash or dash cams can also be purchased as multifunctional versions.
External anti-sleep systems are available, for example, as attachments for the ears or glasses as well as battery-operated rings. Depending on the model, these draw the driver's attention to tiredness by means of light and / or sound or vibration. We do not recommend using a light as a signal, as this variant is often inadequate. However, at a low price of sometimes less than 20 euros, you cannot expect a completely reliable alarm system.
Legal situation with the use of drowsiness detection
A warning system against drowsiness is not compulsory within the EU. The debate on whether to introduce compulsory drowsiness detection systems has been going on for years. However, this gadget is interesting for frequent drivers even if it is not required. People who travel long distances and / or drive in the evening and night can benefit from this driving aid.
This also applies to drivers who are affected by narcolepsy but who are fit to drive on the basis of a medical report or certificate and who are allowed to drive their vehicle. Basically, anti-sleep systems can be retrofitted and their use is permitted. However, installation is not mandatory. In general, electrics that are combined with that of the vehicle or that work as a factory system via the on-board system of the mobile should be installed and configured by a specialist.
Conclusion on a retrofittable fatigue detection
Drowsiness detection can be particularly interesting for people who drive a lot and are out in the evening and at night. In addition, a drowsiness assistant can be worthwhile for long trips on vacation. External systems for drowsiness detection can already be purchased for small amounts (for example less than 20 euros). However, these cheap companions are not really recommended. A permanently installed warning system is preferable, especially if you are regularly used as a frequent driver. It is ideal to have this installed directly by the manufacturer or to purchase the system from a well-known third-party provider.
If the microsleep alarm is connected to the internal power supply, it is recommended that it be installed and configured by a specialist. The prices for a high-quality device start at around 150 euros. Multifunctional assistants, which, in addition to the anti-sleep system, also have lane-change assistants, a navigation system or GPS, are available in stores from 700 euros. Such technical aids are very helpful and offer more safety in order to reach your destination over a long distance or when driving at night. However, you should be aware that drowsiness detection is not a substitute for a break or a nap.
Further information on the topic of "drowsiness detection" can be found at bussgeldkataloge.de/muedigkeitsrecognition.
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